Ruling DISY said on Sunday that censorship was not the solution to disagreements the Church of Cyprus might have with theologians such as Andreas Pitsillides who was excommunicated on Friday.
In a statement, the party said that while it did not wish to intervene in the internal workings of the Church, “at the same time it is obvious that there is a need to respect freedom of thought and expression”, it said.
Academic independence in the scientific field and the right of reflection and contemplation should also be respected, it added. “Censorhsip should not be seen as a solution to blatant disagreements relating to key issues.”
Pitsillides was excommunicated by a Synod Committee on Friday, which cited his heretical views on Orthodox faith and teaching as the reason he was thrown out of the Church.
Announcing the decision, the committee said Pitsillides’ removal from the Church would remain in force until such time as he “recovers, renounces his falsehoods and misbeliefs, and begs for God’s mercy”.
The announcement added that the Synod Committee came to the decision due to Pitsillides’ misbeliefs, intentional misrepresentations, scornful references to faith, morals, and traditions, and his unethical attitude towards it and the Holy Synod.
The committee called on Pitsillides to contemplate his responsibility towards God and people, and refrain from conceit and egotism in humbling himself to the teachings of the Bible and the Church’s ethos, and, instead of tempting them, making himself an example to people of faith.